2017: Year in Review

Photo by  We Are Origami

The first few weeks of a new year always makes me incredibly grateful and reflective. In previous years, I’d go through a lengthy, structured process of documenting key milestones and fave memories of the year just past. I had a quick read through of old ones and using the same style just doesn’t feel right anymore, so I’m going to freestyle it for this edition!

2017 was the year of many firsts for Lime Tree Bower. I think to stay energised and innovative in business, you want to have “first” experiences every year, but for 2017 these were BIG ones.

Taking the plunge into it full time.

This was a mammoth step. I resigned in Jan in my part time job and started Feb on LTB 100% and was so glad I did! It’s allowed me to put more time to my ever growing to do list, and in turn, grow the business. Plus get more sleep!

People often say that if you make more time for your business, (even if you may think you don’t have enough things lined up etc looking forward), you’ll end up getting more business. It’s kind of like making more space for something will invite more things to come and happen! It probably sounds a bit like cosmic juju, and I wasn’t super convinced before I took the leap either, but I’m convinced now. Obviously doing the work and hustling is required, so it’s not just easy work and playing with your dogs all day ;)

Starting to build up a small team.

Getting help for various aspects of the business has been really big for me including recruiting, contracts and all that jazz; these areas have been incredibly difficult and a huge learning curve. Letting go has also been hard, and realising that you need help because you can't do everything yourself all the time.

I’m incredibly excited to see how 2018 pans out on this front!

Finally launched an online course - Hobby to Hustle!

Something that’s been on my sights for about two years finally came to be in mid-2017 after months of long days researching, creating content, and getting progressively more comfortable with recording myself speak haha! Towards the end of last year, I’ve been slowly migrating it onto its own identity and brand - this is something that I’ll hopefully share in more detail soon, so watch this space :)

Upgrading to a van.

"Dale" is my new VW Maxi Caddy and he's been such a lifesaver. Whilst my Ford hatchback has been such a dependable buddy for the first few years, I knew it was reaching its absolute limits. Having never driven a van before, I remember being petrified when taking Dale out for a test spin! But after a couple more drives, I fell into the groove and now love driving it.

I’m all for making do with what you have until you feasibly cannot anymore - so if you’re looking to upgrade to a van too, make sure you check to see if you actually need it vs just want one. And when you are ready, definitely get the Maxi if you can, over the standard sized caddy.

Doing installations!

One of my big dreams at the end of 2016 was to have the chance to create hanging installations for weddings and events in 2017. It's incredibly difficult to get into something and sell the idea of it until you have something to show as examples of work, so you can imagine it was quite difficult to successfully pitch installations when I first got started.

I'm so thankful that I had some amazing clients that trusted in me to be able to execute and was so happy with how everything turned out. Installations are 20% creative and 80% logistics and problem solving, seriously! The hardest part is always figuring out how it'll be hung, what to use, and actually getting it set up on the day. The easy (and fun) part is the decorating :)

Expanding into full event styling, coordination and planning

I made this decision half way through spring wedding season, which happened at the same time as when I took on some new team members. You can imagine how hectic that period was, I felt like I was barely swimming! I'm sooo excited to be able to extend past florals, and be able to add our design touch to everything else. I've always been a huge creative at heart, so getting the chance to overlook the entire design from one end to the other is going to be magical!


I'm incredibly excited for what 2018 will bring. Over time, I feel like my need to set resolutions and write long lists of goals at the beginning of the year has changed.

There's such a beautiful element of the unknown and seeing what will unfold in the months to come naturally, coupled with having some high level goals in place to steer me towards the right path.

So for this year, a few things I'm working towards include:

  • Expanding more into the events space, like PR / media, non-weddings

  • Re-thinking our workshops strategy

  • Getting more help with the day to day admin/emails

  • Consistent growth of the business, balanced with ongoing creative stimulation

I think this last point is so important. I would hate to create a business that I find zero creative pleasure in, so maintaining that sense of creative inspiration that drove me into this passion business in the first place is vital. My second last wedding of 2017 reinvigorated that emotion in me whilst I was designing the flowers, and that's been on my mind ever since.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my thoughts of the past year and the year to come. I'd love to hear what you've got in store for 2018 and what you're excited for! Feel free to leave a comment below to share :)

Helen Wu